(published on Science in School, issue 36, 26/05/2016 by TEMI Germany team: J. Dittmar, C. Zowada. S. Yamashita, I. Eilks)
Molecular gastronomy is a new trend in haute cuisine, with chefs providing their guests with novel and strange culinary experiences using liquid nitrogen, gels and foams. One of the techniques that is becoming more well known is the use of alginate spheres containing different fruit juices or flavours. Even if you don’t frequent Michelin-starred restaurants, you may have come across these spheres in bubble tea.
In this article, we suggest how alginate bubbles can be used to teach various scientific concepts, presenting scientific phenomena in an aesthetic fashion. We introduce how to make alginate bubbles and present three example experiments, each of which can be performed in a one-hour lesson: an acid-base reaction, chemo-luminescence with redox chemistry, and thermal convection with a thermochromic effect.